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How to Store Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is one of the best foods that you can eat. It tastes good, is packed with protein, and relatively easy to store. It is important that you know how to store your peanut butter. Different types of peanut butter require different storage methods. Check them out here.

This is a jar of peanut butter with fresh nuts on the sides.
  • Peanut butter is a great food that is full of protein. It can be eaten by itself or paired with many different foods.
  • This article discusses peanut butter and the best ways to store peanut butter, so it does not go bad.
  • No matter which peanut butter option you prefer, from store bought peanut butter to homemade peanut butter; there is a proper way to store them all. 

Do you love eating peanut butter right off the spoon? I cannot tell you how many times I have grabbed a spoon and opened the jar of peanut butter, and dug in. While eating peanut butter with chocolate is my favorite way to have it, I often eat it right out of the jar. While there are some people that cannot go anywhere near peanuts or peanut butter, there is a large number of people that enjoy it.

You may not realize it, but peanut butter can go bad. There is a proper way to store it. If you are interested in how to store peanut butter, keep on reading. 

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What is Peanut Butter?

This is a close look at a spoonful of peanut butter.

Peanut butter is made from peanuts, shocking, right? Peanuts are roasted and then ground into a paste or spread. That is really all there is to it, although you will find peanut butter with added salt, oil, and sugar.

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Not all peanut butter is alike, and it is essential to know what is in your peanut butter. Some peanut butter has trans fat. You can find regular peanut butter, crunchy peanut butter, and natural peanut butter on your grocery store shelves. You can even make homemade peanut butter. 

How to Store Peanut Butter

This is a top view of a jar of peanut butter with nuts on the sides.

Eating peanut butter and storing it correctly are two different things. It is crucial that you know how to keep your peanut butter properly, so you do not eat anything that is rancid or gone bad. There is a debate about whether or not refrigerating peanut butter is the way to go.

In some cases, you should. These storage suggestions apply to all nut butter options, including almond butter, natural nut butter, and cashew butter. 

Processed Peanut Butter

This is a jar of peanut butter, some shelled nuts and a wooden spoon on a table.

Processed peanut butter is intended to have a long shelf life on your pantry shelf. Ingredients like hydrogenated oil and palm oil have been added as a stabilizer for peanut butter, including smooth peanut butter, so it can last longer. This makes commercial peanut butter easier to store once it is opened. You can leave it in a dry, cool place like your pantry.

Once opened, it can last for about two months to three months. If you think you will not eat it that fast, you can store it in your refrigerator. It will stay fresh for six months to seven months when stored that way. If you leave it unopened, it can last for six months to nine months, but you want to make sure that you check the expiration date. 

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Natural Peanut Butter

This is a bag of shelled peanuts with a jar of natural peanut butter on a wooden table.

All natural peanut butter is not refined. This means the ingredients should be just ground peanuts and salt. Once you open a jar of all-natural peanut butter, you want to put it in the fridge because the oil goes bad quickly. If you plan to eat the peanut butter in just a few weeks, you can leave the jar in a dry and cool place.

If you do not refrigerate this peanut butter, you want to make sure you do not double dip. Do not put a dirty or used knife or spoon in the peanut butter jar because it could cause cross-contamination. If the peanut butter ever smells bad or there is mold, throw it away. 

You may want to store your natural peanut butter upside down. The oil separates easily in this type of peanut butter. When you store it upside down, it evenly distributes the plant oils.

This will prevent the layer of oil from collecting on top. There is nothing wrong with this oil layer; it occurs naturally. These same rules apply to storing homemade peanut butter. 

Powdered Peanut Butter

Big jars of powdered peanut butter on display at the store.

Powdered peanut butter should be stored in a dry and cool place. It can typically last about two years but is best when used within six months of opening. The longer it sits, the more the taste and flavor could be impacted. 

Freezing Peanut Butter

This is a close look at a frozen peanut butter popsicle with toppings.

It is possible to put your peanut butter in the freezer, but each peanut butter is going to freeze differently. You may want to do a little test with your peanut butter to see how it will freeze, so you do not ruin an entire jar of peanut butter. It would be best if you did not freeze a glass jar of peanut butter.

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The peanut butter will expand as it freezes and puts stress on the sides of the jar. The glass could shatter as a result. 

If the jar of peanut butter is glass or has been opened, you want to transfer the peanut butter to an airtight container or ziplock bag that is freezer safe. You want to make sure the container has just enough room for the amount of peanut butter you want to freeze. You want to leave enough room for expansion but also get out as much air as possible.

Otherwise, the peanut butter may get freezer burn. If the container is much larger than the amount of peanut butter you have, you can place a layer of plastic wrap on top of the peanut butter to keep the air out. 

You can also freeze peanut butter in ice cube trays. This allows you to freeze small amounts of peanut butter. You can freeze about two tablespoons of peanut butter in ice cube trays. Put the peanut butter in each cube tray and place it in the freezer for a couple of hours. Once the peanut butter has frozen, you can place the cubes in a freezer-safe ziplock bag. It is helpful if you label the bag with the date and put it back in the freezer. 

Thawing Peanut Butter

If you have frozen natural peanut butter, you will see it begin to separate as it thaws. This is the same separation you see when it sits on the shelf (if you have not stored it upside down). The separation is a naturally occurring process of the solid and oil separating as the temperature of the peanut butter increases.

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You can place the frozen peanut butter in the fridge to reduce the separation. Placing it in the fridge also causes the peanut butter to defrost slower but also reduces the separation. You must mix your peanut butter well before you can use it. 

If you are thawing a peanut butter that is not natural, it has stabilizers in it. A stabilizer prevents the oils and the solids to separate. This peanut butter can thaw while sitting on your countertop. 

If you have frozen an entire jar of peanut butter, you should take off the lid when you want it to thaw. Once it has thawed completely, you can replace the lid. You can also put the entire jar in the fridge to thaw overnight.